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Implied odds (Windows on Mac)

One of last Thursday's postings was Linux on Intel Macs and in the comments, Bruce G. referenced John Dvorak's Will Apple Adopt Windows? article.

Thursday is my poker night, so I only skimmed through the article before gathering up my box of change and heading out. I really shouldn't play poker at night; I'm a morning person and fade pretty fast after 6:00, but I was well rested that night and did well - $20.00 to the good in dime ante limit games is not bad at all.

Anyway, the poker made me think about implied odds. In poker, as in many situations, there are different kinds of odds. For example, if you are playing Texas Hold'Em and are dealt a pair of two's, you have (if I remember right) about a 13% chance of getting a match for your two's in the five community cards. If there are seven people in the game, your pot odds just about match up - in other words, you have an approximate seven to one chance of getting the "set" (three two's) and there is seven times your bet in the pot. Reasonable odds, so you'll probably play unless there are other indications that you shouldn't.

But if the flop (the first three of the five community cards that all players share) turns up, oh say, King - Jack - two, something very important just happened. Yes, you have that three of a kind, which is good. But there are also two high cards out there, so the chances are good that somebody has a high pair and will be betting against you. Your "implied odds" just went up dramatically. Understanding that means you can put in more money than the pot odds seem to indicate - chances are good that you can "push" this pot up (assuming your betting position allows it, and so on).

In poker, as in life, it's not how often you win or lose that matters, it's the size of the pots that you win that count. I only won four hands Thursday night (we usually play 40 or more each night), but they were very good pots, and all of them had great implied odds.

Back to Apple.

I think John Dvorak is just looking at pot odds. He thinks Apple has a small market share and could increase it by moving to Windows. I don't even agree with that assessment, but even if it did look like sticking with their own OS gave bad odds, it's their implied odds that are really important here. Apple is looking at great implied odds.

First, I've talked here before about virtualization on Intel Macs. That is Apple's low pair in the hole. Everybody gets to play in the virtualization game, but everybody else just gets high pairs: Windows hosting Linux, Linux hosting Windows. Only Mac gets the "set" - OS X, Windows, and Linux.

As Windows Vista is still only a promise, Mac has another advantage here. The guy with the giant pile of chips had to throw away his hand - he won't even be playing in this round and do we need to mention that he's been caught cheating so many times that he also has to get most of his bets approved?

Oh well, there are more hands to be played, right? And anything can happen. The nasty guy with the big stack may end up with the whole table's chips, but I don't think so. And it's definitely not in Apple's interest to fold its hand now.

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© Anthony Lawrence

Sat Feb 18 00:26:44 2006: 1659   TonyLawrence

Actually, I just looked up the odds and I was a little off: the odds of seeing trips on the flop are about 12 on the flop and almost 20 overall. But that's why I don't do better at poker.. can't remember this stuff :-)

Sat Feb 18 23:11:03 2006: 1662   BigDumbDinosaur

Actually, I just looked up the odds and I was a little off: the odds of seeing trips on the flop are about 12 on the flop and almost 20 overall. But that's why I don't do better at poker.. can't remember this stuff :-)

Winning 20 bucks using some change for your stake doesn't sound too bad to me. You probably do better on average than the typical jabroney does while visting Lost Wages...er...Los Vegas.

Sun Feb 19 00:41:18 2006: 1663   TonyLawrence

If I'm not tired.. but I usually am.

Sun Feb 19 02:16:43 2006: 1664   anonymous

Funny stuff man. This dude is raving tard and needs to be silenced.

Check this out: dvorakisnuts.org/ (link dead, sorry)

Or sign the patition to smack this dood down a few:

This dude makes me feel all special on the inside.

Sun Feb 19 10:29:09 2006: 1665   TonyLawrence

I think that's a little extreme. He's not crazy, but his columns are often designed to incite commentary.

We don't have to read them :-)

Sun Feb 19 11:51:30 2006: 1666   bruceg2004

Yea, I kind of like freedom of speech, and you can always turn the channel (why don't people understand that?) I like people who come up with ideas that get people excited. Those are usually the most interesting authors. You have to hear Dvorak on TwiT (This week in Tech podcast) He can really get Leo Laport going, and it makes the show more interesting. Personally, I think Dvorak is an "old grump". While I do not agree with a lot of the things he says, and especially in this case with Apple, he always keeps things balanced. Not balanced like Fox news "Fair and balanced" - because that is just a lie, but he does offer another opinion on most topics.


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